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View Full Version : Does "Time and Tools" Apply to Action Type As Well?


Wulf
04-17-2007, 7:07 AM
It just occurred to me that most of the problems OLL owners are having with LEOs are off the range. So if you equipped your rifle with an adjustable gas block like the JP unit and made it a habit of turning down the gas block till the rifle wouldn't cycle when off the range, using a screwdriver, you'd have turned the gun into a manually operated rifle; a rifle not covered by SB23 which is the DOJ's flagship AW law. The single shot action, plus your gripless or fixed mag conversion would essentially put you two steps away from an AW.

JPN6336
04-17-2007, 8:11 AM
Hmmm....all I can think of is the case where the LEOs used a hammer to remove a fixed magazine and it sounds like it wouldn't help you. It may or may not help later in a courtroom but many LEOs in the street are going to see the type of rifle and believe they're doing something good for the community or their career by making an Assault Weapon bust. Plus, I don't think they'll test fire it in the street and without that, they're not going to know that you have the gas cut off at the gas block.

grammaton76
04-17-2007, 8:52 AM
It's a decent safety feature.

A bullet button plus the gas system would be pretty useful. Even if they were to "convert it with a mallet", your rifle would remain legal because it'd be single shot. This is the sort of thing that'd only be likely to come up when wrangling with the DA or whatnot, but it'd make your case extra-unappetizing to them. Not a bad choice.

xenophobe
04-17-2007, 9:11 AM
There is no real basis of time in the "time and tools" phrase when it coming to terms with defining an AW, it's features, or lack of... when it comes to the law.

It is merely a legal defense strategy.

bwiese
04-17-2007, 9:49 AM
The "tools and time" phrase was made for understanding and only refers to matters surrounding whether or not a magazine is fixed or detachable as per 11 CCR 5469(a) definition.

In fact, I added the "time" wording as an explanatory aside: the fact that a tool is used meets the legal standard for not being a detachable mag; the fact that it takes a moment or more of extra time was the underlying goal of the law (not having rapid mag changes).

While there is no standard for permanence of any features in 12276.1PC, I believe that to being unconfusingly legally "clean", a nonsemiautomatic action should not have a "flip switch" to go to semiauto status.

If you want an nonsemiauto OLL rifle with full features suite and thus nonsemiauto, it should have an upper w/ closed gas port and no gas tube.

Who's to say what happens if/when it's in a police evidence locker? You saw what they tried in San Jose with the sledgehammer and the fixed magazine.

And could be an open question of whether it's considerable as a semiauto rifle if the gas valve is there allowing it to be configured (or not) as such.

Likewise on a FAL clone w/features, don't just close the gas port, remove the gas piston as well. (I'd not travel around with it, either, and I'd store it way away from the relevant guns at home.)

Wulf
04-17-2007, 9:49 AM
Well, defense strategy is what I'm thinking. For sure it wouldn't help you by the side of the road. But it would sure be a nice zinger later on when you're trying to settle or in court.

[Defense Attorney] So, Mr. DOJ AW Expert, you're saying the rifle in question possess ALL of the features necessary to make it an illegal AW under the Law. But did you actually test fire the weapon? [/Defense Attorney]

Wulf
04-17-2007, 10:02 AM
The "tools and time" phrase was made for understanding and only refers to matters surrounding whether or not a magazine is fixed or detachable as per 11 CCR 5469(a) definition.

In fact, I added the "time" wording as an explanatory aside: the fact that a tool is used meets the legal standard for not being a detachable mag; the fact that it takes a moment or more of extra time was the underlying goal of the law (not having rapid mag changes).

While there is no standard for permanence of any features in 12276.1PC I believe for being legally "clean" that a nonsemiautomatic action should not have a "flip switch" to go to semiauto status.

If you want an nonsemiauto OLL rifle with full features suite and thus nonsemiauto, it should have an upper w/ closed gas port and no gas tube.

Who's to say what happens if/when it's in a police evidence locker? You saw what they tried in San Jose with the sledgehammer and the fixed magazine.

And could be an open question of whether it's considerable as a semiauto rifle if the gas valve is there allowing it to be configured (or not) as such.

Likewise on a FAL clone w/features, don't just close the gas port, remove the gas piston as well. (I'd not travel around with it, either, and I'd store it way away from the relevant guns at home.)

I realize that the TnT was about mags. That's why I was asking if the semi-auto aspect would likely be subjected to a similar test. The "quick mag change" rationale would seem to apply equally, if not more so, to semi vs. manual.

If a turned off gas block would seem to violate legislative intent in that it would be seen as a "too easy and quick" to convert you could make similar assertions about a mag lock.

I got started thinking about this because of the recent spat of off range oll prosecutions. Whipping out a screw driver and turning off the gas, is a pretty simple thing that would give your attorney an extra brick to throw at the DA. And you're right, the gas block could be fiddled with in the evidence locker. But someone could also have seen you turn off the gas before you cased the weapon at the range, and tampering with evidence is a pretty big step down the dirtbag path for a cop. It also adds another person to the list of people that would need to keep the secret.

Just seems like its smart right now to give the 58 DA's every reason not to pursue a case if you don't have to deep pockets to play that game.

grammaton76
04-17-2007, 10:50 AM
Well, the "this is a neat insurance policy" bit only applies as long as you're keeping a mag lock on your rifle at all times.

Bill, I don't think he was talking about switching it between semi-auto/fixed and manually cycled/detachable.

My understanding was that the gas port was so that the two configurations would be semi-atuo/fixed and manually cycled/fixed. This would thus be an extra insurance step, which couldn't hurt. Even if the armorer did get happy with a mallet and successfully asserted "it was like that when it got here", there'd still be a defense with the manually operated gas tube (which they probably wouldn't adjust if all they want to do is store it without a mag in it)

bwiese
04-17-2007, 11:30 AM
I realize that the TnT was about mags. That's why I was asking if the semi-auto aspect would likely be subjected to a similar test.


The mag issue wholly revolves around *tool* usage, as specified in regulatory definition; the 'time' aspect is merely inferrable and consistent with intent, esp after the 2000 regulatory hearing discussions, SKS matters, etc.

This is all about threshholds, though...

One could argue that a operation-mode-selectable rifle is a semiauto rifle with a manual mode that just happened to set to manual mode at the time. One could argue the converse, too.

The tool (as opposed to knob setting) could be helpful though, esp if the gas setting stuff were not visible.

Some further clarifying/clouding issues:

A recent LA case involving a FAL clone apparently illegally purchased/imported from AZ (I am running on a bit of rumor here) was lost because the guy took the bolt out to make it nonoperational - if he'd taken the gas piston out and closed the gas port, he'd have had a functional working rifle that was not semiauto.

A broken/incomplete rifle likely does not equal a nonsemiauto rifle.

Original design intent does not come into play for semiauto status, but if simple user operation rendered it to/fro semiauto vs manual I think it'd be argued/supported by judge that it's a semiauto - something that may not get hashed out until the appeals chain.


The "quick mag change" rationale would seem to apply equally, if not more so, to semi vs. manual.

No, because the specifically codified use of a tool overrides the speed issues. The microsecond or minute that use of a tool takes is immaterial, since the tool was used, and since use of a tool specifically precludes a magazine from being considered a detachable magazine for 12276.1PC.





If a turned off gas block would seem to violate legislative intent in that it would be seen as a "too easy and quick" to convert you could make similar assertions about a mag lock.

Again, a tool is specified in the regulatory definition - [I]but only w/regards to detachable magazine.


I got started thinking about this because of the recent spat of off range oll prosecutions. Whipping out a screw driver and turning off the gas, is a pretty simple thing that would give your attorney an extra brick to throw at the DA.

Perhaps. Most of these cases are regarded without much analysis: "Dude has an AW!" and 12280 charges are filed.

The dismissed ones are proved otherwise (or rather, not proved in court, but DA dissuaded because law is on our side).

The woman DA in the dismissed OC case didn't even wanna listen to reason until last minute, she wanted to take a plea or go to court. Once it was the first pre-trial (post-arraignment, time waived) court appearance she folded when the attorney finally had a ton of paperwork (from NRA's lawyers, me, etc.) - including the famous Iggy statement in the Hunt deposition.

I think features should be analyzed independently and not muddled together.

For now, I would not rely on manually-cycled/nonsemiauto status being perceived as such unless the upper can only exclusively fire in manual mode (i.e., zero gas system installed). Existence of a gas system (as opposed to one just turned off) is likely to be regarded as sign of "semiautoness"...

neomedic
04-17-2007, 1:32 PM
What happen in San Jose with the sledge hammer?? I don't think I was around to read that...

bwiese
04-17-2007, 2:11 PM
What happen in San Jose with the sledge hammer?? I don't think I was around to read that...

We had a young dude popped for having an OLL-based fixed-mag semiauto rifle. Cops didn't know s*** from Shinola; AW charges filed. This was approx. last fall/early winter.

Guy's attorney got in touch w/some Calgunners here. Various folks here, esp Xenophobe, who spent time w/investigator, as well as NRA attorneys got attorney up to speed.

When the rifle was being examined, the cops tried to remove the fixed 10rd mag, perhaps for safe storage purposes. They tried to use a sledgehammer to remove it.

Sounds like 11 CCR 5469(a) compliance to me :)

Charges dropped afterward, rifle returned sometime later after LEGR filed.